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Gale backing Root as opener

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale does not feel that England gave Joe Root a 'fair run' as an opening batsman.

Root has spent the majority of his county career opening the innings but he has batted in every position in the top seven in only 15 Test matches.

He took the role during England's Ashes victory last summer before being moved down to six, then going back up to three in the reverse series defeat in Australia before being dropped altogether.

Root will get a chance to impress selectors in action for Yorkshire early in the 2014 county programme and Gale says he will be restored to a position at the top of the order.

"For me, he's an opening batter and I don't think he's been given a fair run in the England side opening the batting," said Gale.

"Rooty's had success playing for Yorkshire since he was a 13-year-old opening the batting. That's where he bats for Yorkshire and for me that's where he should bat for England."

Root will not be the only England squad member eager to impress, with Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan and Jonny Bairstow all looking to cement their place for the summer clashes with Sri Lanka and India.

Character

And Gale feels they all have the ability and character to do so, even if that means his county having to do without some of their star players for long spells.

"There's going to be a lot of places up for grabs now in the England side and those guys have got a point to prove really," he said.

"They're all young enough that whatever happened this winter they'll be better off for the experience. They're not the sort of guys who'll go into their shells.

"They'll come back, stick their chests out and they'll get on with the job. They want the England shirt, so they're going to be giving it their all.

"The addition of those four guys coming back is only going to leave us with a stronger side, but even lads who probably haven't had a sniff of England for years, they're saying 'you never know'."